Charles Beaumont

Charles Beaumont was born Charles Leroy Nutt in Chicago in 1929. He dropped out of high school in the tenth grade and worked at a number of jobs before selling his first story to Amazing Stories in 1950. His story “Black Country” (1954) was the first work of short fiction to appear in Playboy, and his classic tale “The Crooked Man” appeared in the same magazine the following year. Beaumont published numerous other short stories in the 1950s, both in mainstream periodicals like Playboy and Esquire and in science fiction and fantasy magazines.His first story collection, The Hunger and Other Stories, was published in 1957 to immediate acclaim, and was followed by two further collections, Yonder (1958) and Night Ride and Other Journeys (1960). He also published two novels, Run from the Hunter (1957, pseudonymously, with John E. Tomerlin), and The Intruder (1959).Beaumont is perhaps best remembered for his work in television, particularly his screenplays for The Twilight Zone, for which he wrote several of the most famous episodes. His other screenwriting credits include the scripts for films such as The Premature Burial (1962), Burn, Witch, Burn (1962), The Haunted Palace (1963), and The Masque of the Red Death (1964).When Beaumont was 34, he began to suffer from ill health and developed a baffling and still unexplained condition that caused him to age at a greatly increased rate, such that at the time of his death at age 38 in 1967, he had the physical appearance of a 95-year-old man. Beaumont was survived by his wife Helen, two daughters, and two sons, one of whom, Christopher, is also a writer.Beaumont’s work was much respected by his colleagues, and he counted Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, and Roger Corman among his friends and admirers.-Valancourt Books
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